Written By: Jamie McKimmy
It’s that time of year again to transition your kiddos from summer break back to their school routine. Transitions can be hard, as a parent of two small children and pediatric occupational therapist I have seen the challenges from both perspectives. My hope is that I can give you some tangible ways to assist your little one (or big one) back into their school routine.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule:
Whether this is a chart on the fridge, a small calendar in your child’s room, a picture schedule for those little ones, a digital calendar in your child’s phone, or a verbal reminder. These small things will help your child get used to the new responsibilities and daily schedule they will have throughout his or her school year.
The most important meal of the day:
Don’t forget to add in a breakfast routine! Some children aren’t big on eating in the morning. Try making energy balls, muffins, egg bites, or anything that can be on the go. Remind your child that they need to fuel their brain in order to learn!
Keep this as consistent as you can. Continue with whatever routine you have and add in some discussions or conversations about school. Asking your child questions about what they liked, disliked, learned, and more! This can help ease any anxiety or uncertainty about starting his or her new school year.
Dysregulation can be a common culprit of poor behaviors at school or at home. Giving your child a good sensory routine or “workout” as I like to call it before or after school can help burn off some energy and teach your child to self regulate. This could be as simple as an obstacle course, going for a walk outside, playing red light green light, yoga, animal walks, and so much more. One thing I love about this is that you can get as creative as you want or keep it as simple as you want.
Starting a new school year always brings up a mix of emotions. Remember it's a new routine for you as a parent, just as it is for your child. It is exciting but also nerve wracking. Keep showing excitement and interest around your child and they will get into their routine in no time!